Open Thread

Open Thread #258

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59 thoughts on “Open Thread #258

  1. I find the recent wave of mass layoffs in tech quite fascinating. We went from women celebrating that they basically get paid for drinking lattes and attending company-provided yoga classes to tens of thousand of people finding themselves out of a job. Just imagine having absolutely no skills at all but getting paid six figures because of characteristics that have nothing to do with job performance.

    At Twitter, some people supposedly did not show up for work for months. Now, Elon Musk took over, fired 2/3 of the company, and nothing is breaking. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come. Quite frankly, most tech companies I have first or second hand knowledge of are very bloated, with a large number of people doing little to no work. The bigger those companies are, the more bloat there is. No, this is not an exaggeration. Of course, the biggest culprit is government.

    1. The current spin seems to be that Twitter hasn’t crashed yet because it was so well designed and built by these doctors and engineers who bailed en masse on being threatened with having to actually work for those six figure salaries.

      Most of these kids have no idea what a recession is like, being too young and cushioned by daddy’s money to remember much about 2008, let alone the last real tech recession in 2001. Throwing your job away for three months severance, while companies are slashing headcount in double-digit percentages, is not a smart move.

      They’re also sobbing for the poor H-1Bs who are still employed there, claiming Musk has literally enslaved them because they “can’t” quit or they’ll be deprived of their zeroth Amendment rights.

    1. In other news, the Dutch government wishes to close 3,000 farms. Might be kind of difficult to do much cooking in the future, but at least we get garbage paper weights and trinkets as a consolation.

    2. Goy, why do you think you have the right to eat? It is important that the Wests reduce its CO2 footprint and becomes carbon neutral. Oh, and don’t ask why nobody wants to constrain third-world countries in any way. Klaus said that you have to eat ze bugs so you are going to eat ze bugs, even if it means that you will slowly die of them. You goyim thought that you were smart by not taking the vaxx, but what are you going to do once we take your food away? I thought so.

    3. On no! Please, excuse me… You see, I made an honest mistake thinking that healthcare and immigration, for example, was a basic human right. So, you see how I could have falsely correlated things such as food and heating, right? Forgive me!! I promise to go out right now and purchase the new CoD game, give them my social security number, and play it for 10 hours a day to conserve calories.

    4. Is it completely implausible that there are projects on “gaming-based CO2 neutrality”, i.e. if you do not eat enough bugs, Call of Duty or FIFA will not start anymore? After all, there are discussions about personal CO2 scores that are tied to transportation, i.e. if you eat too much meat you are blocked from boarding a plane. Probably anything we joke about or satirize may be written down on some notebook at the CIA, the State Department or some NGO already.

  2. It seems that The Callisto Protocol had its street date broken and people are uploading gameplay footage. Here is one video:
    I assume that as quickly as YouTube takes such videos down, others will spring up, just like it was with the GTA VI leak. The game looks very good but the melee combat requires some suspension of disbelief, based on what I have seen. Melee takes a lot of time, combat focuses on one enemy at a time, so other enemies apparently take their time. I also wonder if some ever attack from behind. This probably does not happen, but given that TCP is a slow-moving third-person game, this cannot plausibly be expected either.

    1. I heard the game has about a 12-15 hour long campaign, which is about twice as much as your typical action/horror title. That’s either a good thing depending on how you view it, or possibly a detriment if it starts to feel stale 3/4 the way through.

    2. I think that The Callisto Protocol is the most interestingly-looking title of the year in terms of graphics and atmosphere, so I do not want to be too quick to write it off. Still, my immediate reaction is that a campaign this long probably contains quite some filler and will seriously harm replayability.

    3. I’m pretty cynical and caution about gaming overall these days I’d say, but I don’t think it’s even slightly likely that TCP sucks. I think what’s likely is that it is and will be mostly overhyped. If I bought it day 1 and played it through in a few days I’d probably love it, but it’s most likely going to end up truthfully being like an 8 or so out of 10 max, whereas people are going to be giving it 9/10 and perfect scores. It’ll probably be factually in the top 3 best games of the year, regardless of which games receive whatever awards. However, that’s not saying much. Of all the games I can think of to come out this year, I’d play TCP and maybe Elden Ring. Nintendo had a shit year as far as I can tell, unless you count the port of Nier Automata, which I don’t.

    4. I share your cynicism about gaming. Well, TCP is going to sell you death animations as DLC, so we really should not expect too much here. On a somewhat related note, I watched some more videos of that guy whose God of War: Ragnarok critique you posted. One of the games he likes is the first Darksiders, and the footage he showed looks quite interesting. This game was not even on my horizon, and as it turned out, I own two copies of it for PS3 already, bought from people who sold their games in bulk very cheaply. They are in a stack of games I thought I had no interest in and wanted to sell for a nominal amount of money. I’m quite looking forward to playing it.

    5. Very cool! I just looked and see Darksiders II on Steam. Never considered these games before, will definitely keep and eye out for a sale. The trailer looks pretty nice, featuring demon sluts with massive tits.

    6. As a caveat, he says that the Darksiders sequels are mediocre and disregard everything that made the first one great. Of course, this is just one guy’s opinion but considering that I agree with a lot of the points he makes in the videos of him I watched, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    7. Bummer. I don’t think I see the original on Steam. If you get around to playing it, let us know how you liked it. I’ll wait until then. Still digging DMC pretty well right now.

    8. Hmm, that’s weird. I can see it now. I guess I missed it somehow earlier. I’ve gone ahead and wishlisted it, so if I see it for 70-80% off then I’ll grab it up. That guy’s “top 10” list that I recently watched featured a game called Dragon’s Dogma, I think it was called. The game looks pretty impressive, however the lack of a fast travel is apparently a serious flaw with it. I’m going to wait for a good Dragon’s Quest XI sale and make that my next RPG project. Before then, I’m going to try and tie up all the Nier: Automata threads.

      Have you been playing any games at all lately?

    9. I played Dragon’s Dogma for a bit before my move, and now I only need to set up my PS3 again. My impressions of this game were quite positive. Even the lack of fast travel did not bother me much as part of the appeal of this game is that venturing outside can be genuinely dangerous, particularly at night. Also, the combat system is engaging, so I don’t mind this inconvenience that much. Dragon’s Quest XI is very good, if you like traditional, i.e. turn-based RPGs. I plowed through it in early 2020.

      The last few months I have not been gaming a lot. I quite regularly fire up MAME for some emulated 1990s arcade classics, though. There are a few hard-as-nails games I have been playing on and off for years.

    10. I don’t mind the turn based format that much, it’s just that I wish more modern games implemented the Chrono Trigger fight sequence vs. the whole getting sucked into a wormhole loading sequence. I’ll check it out anyways. And what I’ve seen from Dragon’s Dogma looks pretty great.

      Btw, if you want a good laugh, check out Synthetic Man’s Doom Eternal response video, where he managed to piss off a large amount of the hardcore fanbase.

    11. Thanks for the recommendation. I just watched part of his Doom Eternal review and the response video. He also has good takes on the Souls games. When I bring up some of the mechanical issues I have observed from watching friends show me some segments, as well as various YouTube video, I get told that this was “part of the game design” (oh, and this is also a great way to get kicked off a Discord server). It also puzzled me that not many Souls fans seem to find it odd that following a guide is required to see all the content.

    12. “The last few months I have not been gaming a lot. I quite regularly fire up MAME for some emulated 1990s arcade classics, though. There are a few hard-as-nails games I have been playing on and off for years.”

      If you feel like it, why not compile a short list of your favorite arcade classics?

    13. Sure, here is a list of arcade games I enjoy, or used to enjoy. Keep in mind that the design philosophy of those games is the complete opposite of today’s games. These games do not take a lot of time to finish, but instead require mastery of the controls and intricate knowledge of the game, and acquiring both can take a lot of time. You have mastered an arcade game if you can clear it on one credit, a so-called one-credit clear (1CC), albeit arcade aficionados would probably say that your first 1CC is only when your relationship with a game really starts as it shows that you understand the basics whereas true mastery is a long way off. Afterwards, you can focus on proper mastery, often expressed in completing a game as fast as possible or with as high a score as possible. People who have not grown up with the SNES or, perhaps better: the NES, may have a hard time embracing this kind of design philosophy, though.

      I mostly enjoy puzzle games, more concretely: the sub-genre the Japanese refer to as action-puzzle games, in addition to STGs/shmups. These are my past and present favorites, in no particular order, and without regard for reaching a certain number of games:

      (Action-)Puzzle Games:
      – Tetris The Grand Master. The game mechanics are non-trivial, and after the halfway point you really need to know how you can move certain pieces, so a guide like is warmly recommended. This game also has two sequels, the first of which is seen as the pinnacle of this series whereas the second one divides opinions among fans as the mechanics are radically changed due to greater piece maneuverability, piece previews, and the hold box. You can also find fan-made clones such as Texmaster online.
      – Mr. Driller. This game is a bit braindead as it is more about execution speed, and decision making is comparatively simple. I play it every once in a while. It has not really hooked me yet, but I also did not get to the point where I wanted to dismiss it. I can 1CC the default course but not the extended one.
      – Aquarush. I got quite into it until I managed to 1CC it within a few sessions. It was basically the arcade-game equivalent of banging a chick for a few times before moving on.
      – Cleopatra Fortune. This is game has an interesting take on the falling-blocks style. I find the concept interesting and its a nice game to return to every once in a while.
      – Magical Drop 2 and Magical Drop 3. I played both quite a lot about a decade ago but eventually I found them too shallow, in particular the third part, because execution speed is more important than setting up combos, meaning that if you play technically worse but faster you will win against the CPU more easily. There is a similar game from a different company, Money Puzzle Exchanger, with has more complex mechanics. I have not played this one seriously yet, though.

      Shmups (all from a company called Cave):
      – Progear. This is game has fabulous hand-drawn graphics and mesmerizing bullet patterns. Check the boss fights at 5:00 and 12:20 in this video for two particularly great examples.) I have practiced this game quite extensively with save states. In theory, given enough tries, I should be able to 1CC it but in reality, this does not work because my consistency is not high enough yet.
      – Donpachi and its sequel Dodonpachi. Those are well-made military-style shooters. Genre fans seem to prefer the third or forth game in this series but they moved too far into some kind of anime-style with it, and also moved from pixel art to 2d renderings, which I find less appealing. A few years ago I had a phase where I regularly spent twenty or thirty minutes just practicing some Dodopachi boss fights over and over, with the help of save states.
      – For variety, I sometimes fire up Ketsui, Guwange, and Espgaluda. I find Ketsui too difficult. Guwange is not easy either, but the only one I got close to 1CCing is Espgaluda. The final boss is ridiculously difficult, in my opinion.

      If you like shmups, I also highly recommend Crimzon Clover on Steam. The original version (World Ignition) got delisted. This is unfortunate because you could pick it up during sales for two bucks. The extended re-release (World Explosion) has not gotten a significant discount yet. This game is a visual spectacle. I played it quite a bit when it originally came out on Steam. Check this video, in particular the boss fight at 12:00 and the visual overload in stage 5 at 20:00. I found it incredibly satisfying to play this game, but due to a move, I decided to sell my desktop PC, and since then I cannot play it anymore as I prefer Apple laptops for daily use.

      I should probably also mention Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, and Metal Slug X. Those are visually spectacular run-and-gun shooters in the vein of Contra. If you decide to play them, please set up a CRT shader to do the graphics justice. There is a bit of b.s. in those games, which is why I never played them seriously — I think I managed to clear Metal Slug 1 on two or three credits — but I still recommend checking them out. Retrogaming hipsters think that Metal Slug 3 is the best one but I disagree as it is too long and unfocused.

    14. My suspicions about the melee combat were correct, but the game is worse than expected in this regard because even though combat has a one-on-one focus, it does put you in situations where you have to fight multiple enemies, as discussed by Skill Up in his review: (watch from 18:00 onwards for this particular part). Some of his criticism seem bizarre, such as lamenting that there are no puzzles in this game and that the characters don’t talk more. For me, both are strong positives.

    15. Is this review spoiler free? I watched a couple minutes already. I kind of liked that DMC5 removed the puzzle aspect from the game, as the combat is incredibly addicting on its own. However, with this type of slow moving game, I feel like some solid puzzles would have benefitted it. I’m not too thrilled about the prospect of 10 hours of walking and boxing booger monsters. As far as the horror aspect apparently not quite being up to par, the necromorphs from Dead Space do legitimately have a more terrifying design, imo. Also, it’s not surprising about the poor boss designs, as Dead Space 1 & 2 were nothing to write home about in this regard either. It’s starting to sound like this game will be reserved for a good 50% off or more sale. I haven’t completely written it off or anything yet. Anyways, I bet REmake4 is going to fuck up in some massive way. We’ll see.

    16. I would recommend listening to this review as he spoils, among others, the mid-boss. Also, he shows footage from quite a few environments. Given how short this game is, he probably covers a good chunk of them. Graphically, I find this game great so I am still curious to play through it once. I will probably pick it up used at some point for 20% of the MSRP.

    17. @Sleazy
      Our approach to video games are quite different. I grew up in 1990s so I played RTS mostly. Usually I seek historical games which help me to immerse into the environment.

      My skills are sub-par or only average. I suck at Counter-Strikes or games that require great reflexes.

      With games like Cossacks, I can exploit certain glitches to beat the AI. I was rather ruthless when I sacrificed more units to destroy the enemies, but I generally concerned if the dead figures were too high.

      Now I play a mod of Mount and Blade Warband called 1135东方. My combat skills suck because the mouse I use is not a gaming mouse. I played it to fuel my passion for history of the period.

    18. Awesome, man. I made notes on those shmups. I can’t say I have a lot of experience with them in general, but at one point as a child I was pretty into Gradius III. I thought about compiling a library of megadrive shmups at one point for this Raspberri Pi I have laying around. I had no idea you were so into these types of games! And being able to 1CC some these is quite impressive.

      Around the 6:00 minute mark of that Progear looked intense! I wonder if the projectiles in these sort of instances are predetermined or have a randomized factor? I would hope the former as it would pay off more to have good memorization. Have you by chance ever been into Ikaruga? I have it sitting on my Switch but haven’t gotten very far into it. With such a huge selection of Japanese exclusives shmups, there seems to be enough entertainment to be had for several lifetimes.

      The only action-puzzler on the list I’ve played is MD2. I’ve admittedly never been really great at these games. Also, I’ve had the MS series on my list of retro games to complete for some time. I plan to get around to them at some point.

    19. Cave shmups have added randomness in their bullet patterns. The pattern you refer to is probably the most famous one in this game, if not in all of Cave’s games. I once read that it has been given a nickname among Japanese fans as it looks similar to a particular dish. Progear was the first game, in my opinion, where this developer really went wild with their bullet patterns, trying to create visually striking ones that cover a large part of the screen where most of the bullets are just filler as they never pose a threat to you and were only added to for effect. There are plenty of complex bullet patterns in their earlier games, too, but they often lack visual impact. By the way, a key element in Progear is bullet cancelling, i.e. you blow up stuff on screen, and the resulting explosions turn bullets into jewels, which you collect in order to increase your score, and a high score also allows you to earn extra lives.

      Shmups like Progear require some memorization, but for those boss bullet patterns, it is more important to understand how they are constructed and how they react based on player input. Often, you need to misdirect a bullet stream while at the same time trying to create an opening for yourself to escape through. Unlike heavily memorization-dependent games, however, there are very rarely any so-called safe spots, i.e. a part on the screen where no bullet will travel to but from which you can still fire at the boss.

      I have played Ikaruga for the first time on the Sega Dreamcast shortly after it came out, and I most definitely imported this game from Japan instead of downloading it from the Internet and burning a CD. (Do Zoomers know what “burning a disc” means?) This game is visually striking, today as much as now. If anything, it has aged very gracefully and stands out even more today than two decade ago. You can also find it on Steam, by the way, which is the only version I currently own. Ikaruga is a very difficult and pretty constraining game, i.e. it expects you to get through a level in a very particular way. I did not put much time in it, but perhaps one day I will. Nowadays, though, I much more prefer the visual spectacle of games like Progear and Crimzon Clover.

      The first version of Magical Drop, which was called “Chain Reaction” in the US, is mediocre. I got a 1CC in this game, against the cheating AI of the final boss. This was not particularly fun, but I kept at it just to see if I could beat it. As it normally happens with that kind of game, I dropped it right after I beat it. It is quite incredible that the developer followed it up with Magical Drop 2. I can’t think of many games that improved upon their predecessor as much as this one; Street Fighter to Street Fighter II is probably the most extreme case, but Magical Drop 2 is certainly up there.

    20. The TCP release is a nightmare! The game has “mostly negative” reviews on Steam mostly related to performance. And reportedly their publishers stock has taken a hit after the flood of bad reviews. I expected this game to be over hyped, never did I imagine it would be suffering this bad. Being a cynic is further justified.

    21. I have been keeping an eye on this as well. Quite frankly, I am getting Cyberpunk 2077 vibes. The Callisto Protocol game had been given an incredible amount of goodwill from gamers, and now look at what we got in return! What is worse is that this is a new studio, so unlike CDPR, they cannot just hope that fans will give them another shot based on their previously released highly acclaimed game. I would not be surprised if this studio got shut down early next year.

    22. I have a buddy that’s probably collected over 200 shmups across all platforms (maybe much more actually). He’s really into them, but he just recently told me he’s only ever been able to 1CC a few on easy mode such as Raiden IV, Ketsui Deathtiny and Battle Garegga.

      Have you by chance seen Digital Foundry’s review of TCP? At the time of the video it only seems to really be optimized for the PS5. This PC guy demonstrates just how bad the port is. The game seems to be missing basic quality of life features and the graphics can’t even be tweaked in game, instead forcing you to back out to the title menu. Also, there is some abysmal Steam Deck performance footage:

      They’ve already released a patch within the last 5-6 hours or so according to their Twitter feed, but why even release a game in this condition in the first place if you can patch it up that quick? It’s yet to be seen how the new patch will affect performance.

      I fear that the desire to release good quality single player games, or at least attempt to do so, will shrink soon into the future because of these failures at launch (like Cyberpunk). And all we’ll get are half-assed remakes of classics. I’ve completely lost all faith in Atomic Heart at this point, because if a studio of veterans with a proven track record can’t make a solid game without any major hiccups today, then why should some tiny never before heard of Russian studio? REmake 4 will probably be good yet disappointing overall (just guessing). And Silent Hill 2 is definitely going to be worse than the original in terms of the narrative. The new The Witcher games are most certainly getting diversified, so that even if they do happen to work out the gate by some miracle we won’t want to touch them.

      Even Nintendo is being weird with Zelda. The game is supposed to come out in March, but they’re not even marketing the game yet. If I had to pick any game to have faith in, it would probably be that one, though. They’d at least delay it before putting out a broken mess.

    23. Your buddy should probably focus more on playing games than collecting them if we wants to get a few more 1CCs under his belt. Quite frankly, I think I am not very focused when it comes to shmups, but I take my action-puzzle games quite seriously. He should pick one game and play it exclusively for three to six months. The time investment is quite comparable to an RPG, actually, and for very good players it is a lot more. He may also want to try out a few more games with relatively easy Novice modes or powerful characters that trivialize survival to a large extent. For instance, I was able to clear Deathsmiles with Rosa quickly; I think it took me just two tries. Mushihimesama Futari Black Label has a mode for beginners, and Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu has overpowered ships with an auto-bomb feature that makes survival really easy as well. I considered buying Ketsui Deathtiny and Battle Garrega for PS4, but both had DLC, which I dislike. The physical releases were targeting fans anyway, and also had a slightly higher price point, so why try extracting an extra $5 from the audience like that? This just rubs me the wrong way.

      I just watched parts of that video. The stutter looks horrible. It is quite possible that the publisher wanted the game to be out in December. Supposedly, January is a bad month for sales. Thus, they stuck to a release date, hoped to get the game into a good enough shape, and failed to do so. It may also be that they skipped doing proper QA. Both were true for CyberPunk 2077, too.

      Capcom will probably do a good enough job with the RE 4 remake. My issue with those projects is not so much that they fail to live up to expectations. In the case of RE 4, this seems to be a given, considering how revolutionary this game was whereas the remake will just be one of many technically solid third-person games. The bigger issue is that such projects are being pursued at all. It seems that game studios prefer the safe bet of a remake over a new release. This is, of course, due to the high costs of game development. There really are not a lot of exciting games coming out at all nowadays, and variety is sorely lacking. The last big bet Capcom made was, in my opinion, Dragon’s Dogma, which came out in 2012.

      I think that Nintendo is holding back the BOTW sequel, similar to BOTW itself, which was supposed to be a Wii U exclusive. This may very well be their big game for their next console. Thus, they may very well release it as a cross-generation game.

    24. I don’t think my buddy has the discipline to commit to a single game long enough to master it, honestly. I think he more just likes to collect things and display them. He’s got quite a collection of games, vinyls and other obscure things. He’s one of those guys that has a very imposing physical statute, someone who could probably do well clubbing, but he is very withdrawn and prefers to keep to himself and his hobbies. Really solid guy, though.

      Lack of QA and a rushed release for TCP makes sense. It’s almost as if they didn’t get actual gamers to play the game and ask them if they think it’s even fun. Also, another red flag that I didn’t see coming is the fact that they hired actual actors for the game. I never recognized these people before, but it’s turning out to never be a good sign when a developer allocates some of the budget to hire people with any level of fame.

      My interest for Dragon’s Dogma is pretty piqued. Apparently, there is a sequel in the works. As far as Zelda goes, I think if they have a new console or a souped-up Switch then it would be a solid strategy to release the two concurrently. If they did then I imagine there’s be a vanilla version for the current generation, and that’s the route I would end up going because Nintendo just doesn’t release enough quality first party games to hold my attention. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if instead of a new console they just end up releasing a signature OLED model to go along with the game, such as they’ve done with other releases like Splatoon.

    25. Some guys just don’t care enough about the outside world, and this is perfectly fine. I had an ex-colleague who built himself a VR gaming room in his apartment. Having a relationship was not a high priority for him either. Your friend could very well have had some bad experiences with women in the past. I see this quite a bit with guys in their 30s, i.e. they tried having relationships and just had no interest in the incessant bullshit those women threw their way, so they just close that door and focus on their personal happiness, without any women in the picture.

      The collector mentality is quite interesting. In fact, you don’t even need to physically collect games, books, or CDs to focus more on building a collection rather than enjoying any of the items you own. I have heard that in GTA people often download huge archives of ROMs. All SNES ROMs, for instance, take up just a few GBs, but people who do that are rarely avid players. Instead, they just like to have easy access to these games. This is an easy trap to fall into. My personal solution is to specifically get a game when I want to play it, and resist the temptation of building up any kind of comprehensive collection. Admittedly, I have bought entire series of games without playing any of the games in it properly yet, such as Demon’s/Dark Souls for PS3 and PS4 as well as the Ninja Gaiden trilogy for PS3, but I would not buy hundreds of games just to own them. I want to sink my teeth into the aforementioned games at some point, just like I have been wanting to check out Mole Mania for the Gameboy for probably fifteen years.

      Speaking of Splatoon, Nintendo releasing the second and third part on Switch took me by surprise because they normally only do one release per franchise and console, with very rare exceptions. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any other examples after the turn of the century besides Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 for the Wii and Zelda: Wind Waker/Twilight Princess. Of course, in the NES days, they pumped out multiple Mario and Zelda games, but those were much different times. Already during the SNES period, they avoided over-saturating their audience. Instead of giving fans another Super Mario World, they reused the name for an entirely new franchise, i.e. the Yoshi platformers.

    26. I tried Mole Mania today. This game seems solid — Shigeru Miyamoto himself created it! — but I think that you need a stronger sense of nostalgia for the Gameboy than I can muster to get into this game nowadays. The basic idea is quite interesting. You move on two interconnected layers where you need to frequently switch layers to make progress by getting around obstacles in the opposite layer. More bombastically, I could describe this as moving to a different dimension to get around obstacles you face in your own dimension. On the Nintendo DS or 3DS, with their two screens, this would have worked a lot better than on the one-screen Gameboy, though.

    27. So, some more evidence that TCP was indeed rushed out before the end of this year is that the New Game + feature won’t be added until around February. It almost seems as if a Feb/Mar release was the more realistic release window in terms of optimal quality, whereas we instead got a game that was barely optimized for the PS5 that will trickling support for the next 6 months or so. Naturally, my feed pointed me in the direction of Dead Space remake’s “first 18 minutes of gameplay” demo. I wasn’t at all surprised to see Isaac’s girlfriend during the video transmission of the opening cutscene appearing much older looking and almost like she is in the beginning stages of a terminal disease. This is an obvious common trend, as I’m sure you’re aware of, in Western games in general, as Synthetic Man’s review of Last of Us remake pointed that literally every female character somehow ends up looking uglier than before. This is truly a feat! The Japanese have thankfully not lost their collective minds to this extent yet. I think Ada and Ashley in the REmake 4 trailer both look attractive, and leagues ahead of anything a Western developer has produced in at least a decade or more (that I’m aware of). Yet, although Ashley, for example, is pretty, her gaudy loose attire completely betrays her figure and covers her arms and legs. Sure, there will probably be the original costume as an alternative, but the fact that this isn’t the default is insulting. The remake is already subtracting things from the original experience that made it great in the first place.

      I checked out some gameplay of Mole Mania. I agree that this game would have been well suited to the 3DS, being able to utilize the two screens for better player feedback during underground segments. It’s pretty interesting to go back and see what these gaming superstars cut their teeth on back in the day. I found that Magic Drop 2 is available to play using Nintendo Switch’s online service. I played with it a little bit and I don’t think I’ve played anything quite like it before. I might try to get further into it soon, but it might be hard for me to stay dedicated and focused on it for too long. I was reminded of a game my grandpa was semi-obsessed with way back called Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. I used to sit and watch him completely dominate at this game. I’ve admittedly never really been into the puzzle strategy type games, but you’re making me sort of interested in giving them more of a chance here lately.

      “Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any other examples after the turn of the century besides Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 for the Wii and Zelda: Wind Waker/Twilight Princess.”

      Yes, and also remember during the Gamecube era they released Metroid Prime 1 & 2. Those games were both very ambitious and stand up pretty well even today, I think. And Capcom pumped out not only the amazing REmake 1, but also Resident Evil 0 and RE 4. All three of those games were high quality. The Star Fox games back then were pretty bunk, though. If you’ve never played REmake 1 I highly recommend it. The 2D pre-rendered backgrounds and detailed character models make this game stand out and look great even today. Plus, the mansion is brilliantly designed like one giant puzzle, so that you just have to explore every inch of it to start piecing it together bit by bit. You as the player are given full reign over which direction you wish to start discovering in. All in all, the first remake is probably the absolute best ever made example of how a remake should be done. It’s simply perfect, as in it recreates the initial experience faithfully and improves on virtually every aspect of the original while expanding on the lore in a natural and intriguing way.

    28. I should probably watch Synthetic Man’s entire review of the TLOU remake. In the original release there was already not a single attractive woman and even Ellie was at best cute. This was probably fine because she is a minor and pedophilia is A-OK according to the elites, albeit they are more interested in pederasty. Making this cast even uglier is no small feat indeed. You wonder if there are now courses being taught in something like anti-anatomy where, instead of ideal proportions, the young and hopeful learn about how to craft truly ugly bodies and faces.

      Capcom is on the road to wokeness. In the 2020 leak you could find internal presentations on how they should change their game characters. It could have been written by Kotaku, and the presentation was roughly at that intellectual level as well, with do’s and don’ts. Buff Ryu with his exposed torso is fine, but a busty slut in bikini armor is a complete no-no. They even used pictures of BOTW to illustrate that a woman (Zelda) being helped by a man (Link) is no longer acceptable. in the RE 4 remake Ashley has the size of her knockers significantly reduced, and the unlockable slut costume will probably either not be in the game at all or it will be a lot tamer (and sold as DLC, perhaps even in-game by the Merchant).

      Miyamoto’s big games were Donkey Kong for the arcade, Mario Bros. for the NES, and Zelda, also for the NES. He built his name in the 1980s. Mole Mania, in contrast, was probably little more than a bit of filler. Nintendo put out some similar games for the Gameboy, which were made with little resources but had interesting ideas. In 1996 the Gameboy’s popularity was already waning, before Pokemon exploded in 1998, which is probably why this game is sometimes seen as a hidden gem. I find Magical Drop 2 too execution-heavy to play it for long. You are probably better off playing it for 15 or 20 minutes a day for a week or two, and see if it sticks, instead of sinking two hours at once into it, which may be a bit tiresome. Mean Bean Machine is a Western reskin of Puyo Puyo. This is a very deep game, and it is quite popular in Japan. I have tried playing it but it has not yet clicked with me. To give you a hint about how complex this game really is, check out this lesson plan. The combo system in Puyo Puyo is similar to Magical Drop, by the way, but because you have to rearrange elements instead of placing them where you want, it is rare to build big combos.

      Back in the days, I owned a Gamecube. My favorite game was RE4, but I also had a copy of REmake, which I either completed or almost completed. I recall that the dogs gave me heart palpitations, and that the shark (in the basement?) left me agape. It was a mind-blowing game. Incidentally, a few days ago I looked up the Gamecube library and was quite surprised how many RE games Capcom released for it: REmake, RE Zero, RE 2, RE 3 (both were just PSX ports), RE 4, and Code Veronica. Some would argue that these are the best games in the series.

    29. For some funny reason Synthetic Man’s TLOU review is age restricted. I found it to be no more offensive or vulgar than most of his other stuff, which leads me to believe the video got mass flagged by butt hurt shills or it got censored for some other reason.

      I had no idea things like that were going on at Capcom. It makes sense considering RE7 & 8 have no hot women. The monstrously tall vampire chick in RE 8 is hideous, I think, but soy boys seem to think she’s gorgeous. And the main protagonist’s wife is average at best. The BOTW reference makes me think that to compensate for the vulnerable Ashley they’ll instead have Ada be way more badass than Leon, and perhaps even save him on numerous occasions. This is precisely what she does in REmake 2, but Leon at least returns the favor considerably (takes a bullet for her, saves her from the G-virus monster after she faints). They made Leon way too naive in comparison to the original release, and Ada saves him from a zombie dog upon first meeting and later from Mr. X. However, in the original game she did not do this. Now that you’ve told me about their coming to wokeness I’m starting to get a really bad feeling about REmake 4. I think it’s quite possibly going to get downgraded in several ways, and it could be to the extent that a boob increase mod won’t be able to remedy. We’ll see.

      Also, I recently had learned that Capcom went through a really bad microtransaction phase a decade or so ago. I can’t remember the name of the game, but it was some anime style game where the ending of it was literally hidden behind a paywall. Then there was that one Street Fighter game that they butchered with microtransactions. With REmake 2, they made players have to buy cosmetics and the original soundtrack.

    30. The anime game you refer to is Asura’s Wrath. It is worth a play-through because of how over the top it is. You are right, the last part of the game is paid DLC, and it is about 1/4 of the entire game:
      There are also two .5 episodes available, which seem to have likewise been cut from the game. I was so annoyed by this that I did not buy Capcom games for several years, not even used.

      By the way, I managed to find an excerpt of the slide deck I mentioned:
      The full slide deck seems to have been scrubbed from the web and if not, it is certainly difficult to dig up. Sadly, the image above does not contain the examples from Zelda, but the faggots and trannies over at Resetera confirm this part:
      The responses are about what you expect from that crowd.

    31. After viewing that lesson plan it makes me wish I had been able to record some of the footage of my grandfather playing that game. He was really into it!

    1. All supposed proofs of the Protocols being a forgery do not seem overly convincing but even if this is indeed a hoax, it does not really matter as the methods laid out in this document seem to match what some groups in society have been working on. At the very least, someone put the pieces together and constructed a narrative around it. Make of this what you will.

    2. The Protocols is so crudely incriminating that I’d give it a low probability of being legit.

      Nobody is evil in their own eyes and leaders of movements always present themselves in a positive light. No matter if we are talking about various terrorist organizations, communists or any other group that is known to have committed atrocities, all of them believed they were fighting for some noble cause rather than mere self-aggrandizement.
      On the other hand the Protocols are so uninspiring and crude that it makes it seem the main goal was to cause revolt in the reader.

      Furthermore, there is a notable lack of references pointing to Jewish tradition such as the Bible or other canonical books or figures. Only Hebrew word used is goyim etc… which makes it appear that the “Elders” who wrote it were not particularly knowledgable in the Jewish lore.

    3. I don’t think the Protocols are what they purport to be. Surely, they are not the notes of a secret cabal plotting to take over the world. However, it describes a particular modus operandi in addition to the scope of the subversion. Thus, whoever wrote this book must have studied the methods of societal subversion at quite some extent. Take this excerpt from the ninth protocol, for instance:

      10. We have fooled, bemused and corrupted the youth of the “Goyim” by rearing them in principles and theories which are known to us to be false although it is that they have been inculcated.

      11. Above the existing laws without substantially altering them, and by merely twisting them into contradictions of interpretations, we have erected something grandiose in the way of results. These results found expression in the fact that the interpretations masked the law: afterwards they entirely hid them from the eyes of the governments owing to the impossibility of making anything out of the tangled web of legislation.

      12. This is the origin of the theory of course of arbitration.

      Arguably, one of the biggest issues in Western society is that the law has been completely perverted. Legal scholars engage in some kind of sophistry where they conclude that the US constitution has some hidden provisions that clearly show that the state should pay for gender-mutilation surgery or that it is illegal to build a wall. This is a completely preposterous notion, of course.

    1. Did you notice the distortions in the image in the bottom left? Hint: Such artifacts appear when images get incompetently manipulated, and there are also much subtler ones which the untrained eye is not likely to pick up on.

    2. True, although he did exist.

      Robert Wadlow also widely recognized as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois, was the tallest man in recorded history.

      2,72 m. huge.

  3. Aaron,
    What do you think of storybook cottages homes or sometimes known as fairytale cottage homes? I actually love this type of architecture. There are some few cottages homes here in L.A.

    1. I think they look very nice, but surely they are also quite expensive. Another issue is upkeep. Probably, such houses make for a great vacation home but I am not sure how well they work as primary residences. This also implies that I think that buying a place like that is something to consider for people who have a lot of money.

  4. Out favorite keyboard collector returns from hiatus with a sort of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” video where he backpedals on his Kanye video and sympathizes with the rich elite and somewhat with the WEF:

    Honestly, I’m not so sure I blame the guy. The amount of harassment he apparently has been receiving is probably huge. Though, apology videos like this rarely seem to benefit the apologizer.

    1. Interesting. Someone with a channel this big has direct contacts to YouTube. I think they are called “internal account managers”. It is quite possible that he received a quick phone call on what to do. Groveling is part of the laundry list of tasks those people get handed. (Kyrie Irving even had the list of demands on him publicly posted.) His video is pretty lame, but what can we expect? At least he points out that there are events in history that “cannot be questioned”, which is probably the most you can expect from people aligned with the mainstream.

    2. I don’t understand why someone would provoke “them” at all unless they were willing to go all the way, assuming the person in question wasn’t simply ignorant. Otherwise, just lay low and keep vlogging about your cryptos and keyboards.

    3. My interpretation is that this guy is too far on the autism spectrum to have been aware of the implications of what he was doing. There is still a defiant undertone and some thinly veiled jabs in his supposed apology video. It is also possible that he had reached a certain networth threshold and thought that he does not need YouTube anymore. Similarly, Kanye only spoke out against his oppressors after he had made far more than enough money, i.e. he could risk losing 99% of his wealth and still he would not have to be concerned at all about making ends meet.

    4. This guy is definitely red-pilled. Have you by chance seen his videos that he produced after his divorce? He was dropping some serious red-pills then. All roads lead to “them” in the end. It’s the inevitable conclusion. Unless you want to take it into X-File territory.

    5. I was not aware of those videos. In fact, I came across him five or six years ago and watched his tech-related content. It seems that he has branched out quite a bit. Now that I have watched parts of his post-divorce videos, I am surprised that he did not get slapped by YouTube earlier. The difference between him and typical red pill/MGTOW videos is that he seems to not center on his grievances with the system but instead includes them almost as if they were afterthoughts.

    6. “…Kanye only spoke out against his oppressors after he had made far more than enough money, i.e. he could risk losing 99% of his wealth and still he would not have to be concerned at all about making ends meet.”

      I was just thinking about this. Imagine what better ways you could throw all that money in the toilet. From Kanye’s perspective, you could set aside half a billion (or whatever amount) and start your own gaming studio, hire a bunch of based developers and give them a chill work environment to pump out far-right propaganda. At least this way, you could potentially make your money back, even if you had to make it a PC exclusive and host your own based gaming store. Imagine a Triple A video game on par with the old CoD games, for example, with updated mechanics and graphics that has the player operating from the Axis powers side of things. I bet there would be a huge portion if the FPS player base that would flock to such a game just because they don’t ask for personal information and you get to yell fuck and nigger in chat when you die. If that’s too overt of an example, there are way more subtle ways to go about it. JK Rowling’s (((bankers))) in the Harry Potter universe are quite suspicious-looking. High fantasy is the perfect way to cloak a lot of the obvious propaganda, I think.

    7. This is a great idea but I am not sure that Kanye is the man do pull this off as he lacks the relevant background. He would be too much at risk of being taken advantage off by others, which would also be the case if he just wanted to be an investor without active involvement, and probably he does not want a repeat of what happened to him in the music industry. Setting up a non-woke record label, on the other hand, would be more up his alley but seeing how successful he has been in this business he can just take the shortcut and tell the world about the tribe himself.

    1. The chutzpah of this guy is beyond belief. Just like Fauci in his recent Senate hearing, “SBF” does not know anything, did not know about anything, and has no idea what actually happened. He also knew nothing about the FTX-Ukraine racket and does not really understand it anyway. Anything undesirable that happened was an accident and he was merely an innocent bystander. After all, he only wanted to help people with his “effective altruism”, and now you should feel pity for him because he can no longer support various charities.

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